What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) is funding the roll out and evaluation of the ‘Empowering Parents and Professionals Using Video Interaction Guidance’ programme. Babies1st, a small community interest company made up of specialist practitioners, will provide training and supervision to 21 social workers/family support workers in four local authorities to deliver Video Interaction Guidance (VIG). These social/family support workers will become VIG accredited by the end of the programme.
VIG is a relationship-based parenting intervention in which a VIG practitioner films a parent and infant dyad interacting in short, one-to-one sessions. By providing supportive feedback on these sessions based on edited clips of better-than-usual moments, VIG aims to promote parental sensitivity, child attachment and longer term social and emotional development. The intervention involves seeing families for a minimum of eight weekly sessions, which include an initial meeting, followed by three cycles of VIG and a final evaluation and feedback session.
Families with a child under 12-months-old, who are subject of a child in need (CiN) or child protection (CP) plan will be eligible to be referred into the programme.
IFF Research and Manchester Metropolitan University are working together to conduct a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and implementation and process evaluation (IPE) of the programme.
The impact evaluation is a pragmatic, multi-site, effectiveness trial, with individual family dyads being randomly allocated to intervention and control groups within sites. Families allocated to the intervention group will receive VIG in addition to care as usual, whereas families in the control group will receive the usual support provided by their local authority.
The outcomes of interest include (1) parental representations of their infant’s ‘warmth’ and ‘invasion’ within the parent-infant relationship (2) parental self-efficacy (3) parental stress (4) children’s social care status and outcomes. Data will be collected using standardised measures administered directly to the participating parents, and via administrative data collected from the local authorities.
The implementation and process evaluation (IPE) will assess how the intervention has been implemented and whether the elements of the theory of change underpinning the programme worked as intended. It will also explore the experiences of social workers and families, with regards to the perceived difference the intervention has made. There will be two phases of fieldwork: the first will focus on set up and implementation, and the second will focus on the experiences of delivery.
The programme will launch in Summer 2021, and a final evaluation report is due to be submitted by the end of August 2022.